By LIZZY GORDON
Upon entering a Blankner School classroom, one finds two students talking about compound interest and budgets. At first glance one may not realize that the two students collaborating are four years apart in age.
Starting Sept. 6, the Academy of Finance implemented a program called Students Achieving Viable Economic Stability (SAVES). The program seeks to teach eighth grade students at Blankner financial literacy.
Students in the Academy of Finance help students from Blankner through technological outlets such as online blogs, presentations and websites. The students meet once every two weeks. The blog is updated each week by both Blankner and Finance students.
With the help of a $67,000 from State Farm and support from CNL Bank, the Academy of Finance teacher William Daniel and Blankner social studies teacher Bob Hagerman were able to kickstart this program. The money has not been spent, but the two teachers intend on using the money to purchase new technology that will improve their website.
“I think SAVES is a very unique opportunity [for Blankner students]. It is encouraging to know that State Farm is so involved with the community,” junior Wesley Harper said.
Hagerman’s class will study five modules over the course of the year to achieve financial literacy. Students have already learned how to calculate compound interest.
“I have a two-prong goal [for this program]: I hope to create an awareness for the need of financial literacy in the public school system and the second is to expand the awareness to the point where it creates change,” Daniel said.
The current goal of this program is to increase eighth graders financial literacy, but the future goal is to prepare and increase student’s interests in joining the Academy of Finance magnet.
“It is very gratifying [to see my students work with the Blankner students] from the sense that the vision of the Finance Academy is to make a difference in its community and the SAVES program is just one more example of how the magnet program is accomplishing that goal,” Daniel said.